08.28.10

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Canonical Should Adhere to Freedom Principles, Keep Feet on the Ground (Not ‘Cloud’)

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 9:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Matt Asay in clouds

Summary: Under new leadership, the Debian-derived Ubuntu sees a push for Fog Computing and further disposition of Freedom values

Matt Asay, Canonical’s newly-appointed COO, continues to show lack of commitment to Free software. Instead, semi-Open Source, 'open' core, and an obsession with Fog Computing occasionally crop up. Here is a new article where Asay puts a question mark as he seemingly provokes opposers of ‘open’ core:

  • Open Core naysayers celebrate…proprietary software?

    The odd thing is that the free software crowd hails this as progress. We are absolutely not veering toward an open-source future, where all software is released under an OSI-approved license. Far from it. Instead we’re simply seeing companies figure out that they don’t need to compete on distributed database management systems like Cassandra, because they have plenty of proprietary value elsewhere.

Another new example of provocation with a question mark:

Asay has not blogged in CNET for a long time, maybe because it caused him trouble. He does tend to say some darn things which irk Ubuntu users (or Canonical customers) at times. He also belittles some competitors, which is not appropriate in a “news” site. He can’t please everyone and anyone can accept that he wants to do the right thing. Either way, regarding that latter article (in which he’s consensually linking to Linux FUD from Microsoft MVP Jason Hiner, who has a track record of attacking Free software), one person among two in the comments section writes: “I thought you are done with your anti-free software crap already. You are wrong on so many levels that it’s not even funny anymore.”

Separately, in ZDNet there’s Canonical staff talking about a shift to Fog Computing, which the FSF is very much against (at least Canonical tries to adhere to openness, which is not necessarily the same as freedom). Published yesterday:

Canonical: The cloud shift is developer-led

Neil Levine has headed up corporate services at open source Ubuntu-backer Canonical since August 2009. Prior to that, he was the chief technology officer at Claranet, which provides managed hosting from the datacentre up to the application layer. Enthusiastic about open-source schemes within the cloud, he recently attended the launch of the OpenStack scheme, an attempt to make it easier for companies to get off the ground in cloud computing.

[...]

We’ve had a product on the market for over 1.5 years, and we were the first open source cloud option. We took the product to a lot of businesses and they talked to their operations people and infrastructure people who said: “yeah, we love this, this is great, but I can’t just deploy it with nothing to run on top. I have to have an application”. Then they talked to their application people who said: “I want to do cloud, but this is the problem I’ve got at the moment” — whether it’s analytics or big data issues.

Canonical ought to look at the goals of the Debian project and remain somewhat loyal to that doctrine. If Ubuntu became just another brand in a group of non-Free options, not much would actually be achieved. To be fair, other distributions are also attempting this Fog Computing dabbling; they too should not lose sight of the goals of GNU and Linux.

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4 Comments

  1. gnufreex said,

    August 28, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Gravatar

    I have had misfortune to read Matt Asay’s blogs for quite a while. One word: Devolution. They guy went backwards. Let me explain shortly:

    He was first proprietary type. Then he decided it would be cool to becaome open source advocate. Then he probably heard some slur against FSF and decided they are extremists and decided to troll against free software on his blogs in a funny manner. I didn’t took it seriously at first so I didn’t stop reading his blog. Then he decided that “free software is lost and open source have won and we are all better off”.

    Next he decided to spread FUD against GPL and pervert Stallman’s words to try and prove his crooked point. People like Bruce Perens asked him in comments what did free software people ever did to him (aside from giving him free OS and software), why he hates them to much? I don’t remember what he answered but it doesn’t matter.

    Most recently, Assay decided that he doesn’t like open source either. He started advocating OpenCore. I suspect he will soon announce that Open Core have won and we are all better off. As we all know, Open Core is in fact proprietary software, so he made full circle of devolution.

    Some people should be alienated on start, rather than letting them into community to spread division. Shuttleworth must be less smart than I thought, when he did such a bad hire. Canonical will be like Novell if it doesn’t get rid of Mac Assay. He is a troll and only makes people pissed. It is not funny anymore when person like that gets position in what was supposed to be Free Software company (but they removed that from site, they are open source now, and soon probably open core/propitiatory).

    “Value your freedom teaches history. ‘Don’t bother us with politics’ respond those who don’t want to learn” -RMS

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    What’s coincidental is that I was going to type the first among those two RMS quotes at the end, but didn’t (too lazy).

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    In publications succeptible to M$ influence, it’s not unheard of for negative articles about FOSS to be given a positive title and positive articles given negative headlines. For the latter, a lot of managers just ‘skim’ the headlines and pat themselves on the back for ‘staying informed’ For the former, readers who don’t know were to turn for legitmate information, get a false picture.

    It can be the same with pundits.

    I’m not sure that he was actually supposed to really be promoting FOSS during his time at CNET. Recall how far back his lunches with Microsofters go.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s not just lunches he was having. He almost took a job at Microsoft several years ago, as he revealed in his blog.

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